Rishi Sunak Greeted With Laughter And Heckles At Infected Blood Inquiry

The prime minister was asked if what the government had done so far was "good enough" for victims.

Rishi Sunak was laughed at and heckled as he gave evidence to the infected blood inquiry on Wednesday.

The prime minister said it was an “appalling scandal” and ministers were working “at pace” to ensure victims received the right compensation.

But his comments were met with laughter and shouts from some in the room.

Sunak was also greeted with heckles when he was asked if the speed at which the government had acted was “good enough”.

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The inquiry was set up in 2017 to look into why thousands of people were given infected blood in the 1970s and 1980s and whether there was a cover-up.

At least 2,900 people died after developing HIV and hepatitis C, in one of the worst scandals in the NHS’ history.

Victims or the bereaved partners of victims are eligible for payments of around £100,000.

But the government is under pressure to expand the compensation scheme to include the parents and children of victims.

Sunak told the inquiry he wanted to wait for its final report before committing to any course of action.

“In order for the government to make decisions on compensation it rightly has asked an independent inquiry to conclude its work and to provide its advice to government and recommendations about what to do,” he said.

Asked if what he was doing was “good enough, Sunak added: “Of course I appreciate people want to see action as fast as humanly possible.”

“Sooner the better for sure. This has been going on for decades. Of course that’s not good enough.”

The prime minister also said there was an “extensive amount of cross-government” work happening to ensure he could respond to the inquiry’s final report when it was delivered. “That work continues at pace,” he said.


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